Procedural Posture

Procedural Posture

Plaintiff singer sued defendant record company, alleging, inter alia, misappropriation of her name and voice for commercial purposes under Cal. Civ. Code § 3344, common law invasion of privacy, and unfair competition under Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 17200 et seq. The record company moved for summary judgment.

Overview

The singer alleged that record company misappropriated her voice and name in connection with a sound recording and video by another artist. The record company argued, inter alia, that the state law claims were preempted by the Copyright Act. The court concluded that the singer’s state law claims were preempted because she failed to show that the use of her voice in a sound recording amounted to the use of her identity. Although the singer claimed that the record company used the song without permission, the record company had in fact received permission to use the sound recording, in the form of a license, from the rightful copyright owner. The record company had complied with the license agreement by including the singer’s name on the song jacket. Thus, the court concluded that the singer’s state law claims actually arose from the record company’s use, reproduction, and distribution of the copyrighted sound recording, not from the misappropriation of the singer’s voice and name. As a result, the claims were preempted by 17 U.S.C.S. § 301(a). Appellant was represented by a business lawyer.

Outcome

The motion for summary judgment was granted.

Procedural Posture

Plaintiffs, consumers subjected to collection letters by defendant agency, moved for class certification pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 23 in their suit alleging violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, 15 U.S.C.S. § 1692, and the California Unfair Business Practices Act, Cal. Bus & Prof. Code § 17200 et seq.

Overview

Plaintiffs, consumers subjected to collection letters by defendant agency, moved for class certification pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 23 in their suit alleging violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, 15 U.S.C.S. § 1692, and the California Unfair Business Practices Act, Cal. Bus & Prof. Code § 17200 et seq.

Outcome

Plaintiffs’ motion for class certification was granted, because plaintiffs were adequate representatives of the putative class, possessing the same interests as the putative class in recovering damages and obtaining declaratory and injunctive relief, and had suffered the same injury, having received the purported demand letters from defendants. Certification was therefore proper.